California Democrats Show Republicans What Good Government Looks Like


Over the past three years there has been no dearth of examples of what Americans have to look forward to if Republicans ever gained control of all three branches of government. States like Kansas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin are prime examples of Republicans piling up crushing debt, cutting services, destroying education, and killing jobs by pandering to the ultra-rich and corporations. It is obvious that in Republican-led states, like the United States Congress, conservatives have demonstrated their ineptitude to govern as a matter of course, and if they do govern, it is only to benefit a very small portion of their populations.

There is one example of a state that leads the nation in economic growth, job creation, and the ability to govern for all the people. This week, in a seriously stunning editorial by a very conservative newspaper they readily admit and praise California with its Democratic super-majority and governor as the model the rest of the nation and Republicans in Congress should follow.

There were several notable points the conservative authors cited about how good efficient government is supposed to work for the people, but it was their remarks that “Democrat Jerry Brown is a centrist;” not a socialist, not a Marxist, not liberal, or not progressive. They admitted that Brown might strike the rest of the country as alarming, “but it is all the more reason for the rest of the country to take note of the momentum here” and learn a valuable lesson that government can, and does work for all the people when Democrats are in charge.

The editorial first noted that Governor Brown signed a nationally-watched compassionate and humane bill making assisted suicide legal in California for the terminally ill. The editors also praised Brown’s signing Democratic legislation that contains the nation’s most strident gender pay equity protections; “protections that immediately raise the bar for the rest of the country to aspire to.” The very next day Governor Brown signed “landmark bills” forcing state contractors to extend employment benefits to transgender employees. And, with help from the Democratic legislature “radically upped the ante” on the use of renewable energy in the Golden State; legislation the Koch brothers’ lobbyists fought hard to derail.

Then, the Governor and Democrats handed the Kochs another righteous smack down by passing and signing legislation banning the nation’s largest public pension system, California’s, from investing in coal as part of “a diversified investment portfolio.” The same day Governor Brown put California’s substantial clout behind the national movement to stop plastic microbead pollution, after earlier enacting legislation phasing out plastic bags. Still not finished, the governor signed a bill regulating medicinal marijuana as well as legislation automatically registering Californians to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license.

Those recent displays of how a government can, and should, work “for the people” are in addition to bills passed, and signed into law, earlier this year that “deflated the insanity-driven and dangerous anti-vaccination movement.” Unvaccinated children will no longer jeopardize the lives of California’s student population because their seriously disturbed parents deny science and get their medical advice from a washed-up Playboy bunny and her comedian former husband.

Add to that a new racial profiling bill that law enforcement despises because it mandates that California police, sheriffs, and highway patrol officers do what law enforcement officials across the country resist as a matter of course; gather hard empirical data to back any claim that they do not stop and detain any California resident based on their race, ethnicity, or “suspected” Middle Eastern religious affiliation.

While Republicans in Congress have made immigration reform a national joke and portrayed immigrants as pariahs, Governor Brown and Democrats have taken steps that the very conservative newspaper’s editorial board labeled “humane and intelligent policies.” Policies to ensure that, “as long as undocumented people are here, they won’t be increasing the ranks of the state’s sick or uneducated, or drive without a license.”

The same editorial board, after mocking Congressional Republicans for saying “I’m not a scientist” to avoid addressing climate change, simply gushed that Democrat Jerry Brown is  “inking subnational agreements” all over the globe to reduce greenhouse gases. Despite California’s robust environmental regulations, there is still a lot of work to do to reduce the Golden State’s unhealthy air quality across the state; all while the Kochs are spending tens-of-millions to kill clean air standards.

Finally, as America lags the rest of the developed world in providing mass transit, and California Republicans in Congress vow to never allow it to progress, over nearly three dozen private-sector companies are vying to partner with California to build the nation’s first high-speed rail line. It is a project that will create hundreds-of-thousands of living wage, and permanent, jobs in what will be the greatest Earth-moving project in California’s history.  It is also a project the Koch brothers have worked tirelessly to stop because more mass transit options means fewer gas-guzzling vehicles on California’s already over-crowded highways.

Now, if one listens to Republicans, whether in red states or Congress, each and every achievement a Democratic majority legislature with a Democratic governor has accomplished California should be struggling, hemorrhaging jobs, and piling up unsustainable debt. However, that is certainly not the case in California and that is including being in the early stages of a drought of historically epic proportions. The conservative editorial board is spot on about Jerry Brown; he is a centrist. What could be more “centrist” than a governor calling for decent wages, compassionate immigration policy, care for the environment and tax rules that do not give everything to the rich and corporations?

California still has a long way to go to completely dig itself out of a deep dark hole from previous Republican administrations and legislatures, but it is making significant progress simply because the legislature and governor work for all the people. The rest of the nation should take a long, hard look at how a state with a Democratic super-majority and governor is able to govern effectively. As an aside, no American should think for a minute that the Democratic legislature is completely enamored with Governor Brown because he is not a hardline progressive and has governed from the middle. One would hope that Republicans in Congress would take a page out of California’s Democratic legislature and governor’s steady hand in governing for all the people, but that would require them actually wanting to govern for the people; something that is never going to happen.

35 Replies to “California Democrats Show Republicans What Good Government Looks Like”

  1. California stands as a bright shining State on the hill that, contrary to what Republicans continue to yammer about “Big Gubmint is eveeel”, it actually works – provided Democrats not Republicans are in control.

    This can happen nationwide IF the American people are smart.

  2. Such a pity that the people in states such as Kansas, Arkansas and Louisiana think California is doing so badly since it’s full of “liberals”. They can’t get their heads out of their collective ***es and actually compare who’s better off in their respective states and then connect the dots as to who they should actually be voting for.

  3. Californians should be proud. It doesn’t matter if Brown is a centralised, populist, socialist…..Brown is doing what is best for the people of California. Now if only he can get Nestle to cut back on their water usage, and do a rain dance, that would be phenomenal!

  4. Pat Brown is very proud of his son Jerry

    The legacy of California liberal governor Pat Brown 1959 – 1967
    Pat Brown’s legacy includes
    Fair Housing act, Fair Employment Act, Master Plan for Higher Education, Highway Expansion, The California Aqueduct
    Pat Brown taxed everyone, citizens and corporations, fairly
    Due to his legacy, California public schools were the envy of the nation, then came governor Reagan in ‘67….and prop 13 in ‘79

    thanks to governor st Ronny
    From Master Plan to No Plan: The Slow Death of Public Higher Education

  5. I live on the left coast (Washington) we have liberal votor registration laws (we register online), vote by mail, and you get your ballot a month early. Pot is legal and the state is reaping huge dividends in new tax money.

    I like it….

  6. {/s}”…but…but, the California plan doesn’t put cash in our Masters pockets!!! And…it doesn’t quash those nasty Regulations, or give the Teahadists the right to discriminate against the abdominal Gays, and transgender!!!THERE’S NOTHING GOOD IN BROWNS PLAN!!!”{/s}
    …all puns intended…unfortunately I have so many “Lifelong Republicans” relatives I hear this shit in me head every article like this I read…
    …fortunately I reprogrammed meself to where I no longer hear this BS in me relatives voices…but a Peter Lorre voice instead…

  7. Now remember just a few short years ago California was damned near ungovernable because of the Republicans? Budget shortfalls due to commitment to not raising taxes, people were suffering so much that they actually elected ARNOLD MF’ING SCHWARTZENEGGER who promised to use his considerable muscle mass to force the state to bend to his will?

    Even he couldn’t work with the Republicans.

    The GOP is useless as a governing party. Their ENTIRE modus operandi is to strip every single legislature of its budget, vacuum all the wealth into the pockets of the 1%, and walk away only to blame the Democrats for all the deficits that THEY racked up. It’s a classic bait-and-switch. They hold themselves up to be the “party of fiscal responsibility”, yet they prove themselves to be no better than a psychopathic arsonist working as a firefighter. Do you want an arsonist running YOUR government?

    And the sad fact is that people still vote for them.

  8. I like the fact that governor Brown is experienced in governing and has turned the state around.

    After the disastrous Arnold years where he knew nothing about how government works now the republican front runners are three people with no governing experience. It didn’t work in California and it would be a disaster at the national level.

    I always why the MSM doesn’t point this out? Not!

  9. It should be noted that one reason CA has a majority of Democrats in state government is that its voting districts were drawn up by a computer, not a political party trying to increase its power by gerrymandering. No favoritism, just population, regardless of race or political party. That means that Democrats were voted into office by real people, and if the GOP ever becomes a majority with regular folks there, they can get back into power, too. Fair for everyone. I wish the rest of the states would copy that (sigh….)

  10. I lived thru the 30 years of REPUBLICAN HELL.
    I’ve voted democratic in CA since I was 18 in 1980.
    It took years, but we did it.

    Who was in charge of California for over 3 decades??? REPUBLICANS!
    1967 – 1975 and 1983 – 1999 and 2003-2011 we were under REPUBLICAN RULE and NOTHING got done.
    Thanks to governor Wilson who DEREGULATED electricity in 1999 which caused the Texas based Enron blackouts in San Francisco

    California’s debt levels soar under Schwarzenegger

    IN 2010:
    Gov. Jerry Brown’s began with a $25 billion deficit due to the republicans who controlled us for over 30 years.

    With state revenues running $6.7 billion more than predicted in January’s preliminary budget…

  11. Did you know CA was the guinea pig for st Ronny’s trickle down when he was our governor?
    He RUINED Pat Brown’s vision of California…see my above comment about Pat Brown.

    1967 – 1975 and 1983 – 1999 and 2003-2011 we were under REPUBLICAN RULE and NOTHING got done.
    Although Wilson DEREGULATED electricity in 1999 which caused the Texas based Enron blackouts in San Francisco.

    California’s debt levels soar under Schwarzenegger

  12. I’ve lived thru the 30 years of REPUBLICAN HELL.
    I’ve voted democratic in CA since I was 18 in 1980. It took years, but we did it.

    Who was in charge of California for over 3 decades??? REPUBLICANS!
    1967 – 1975 and 1983 – 1999 and 2003-2011 we were under REPUBLICAN RULE and NOTHING got done.
    Thanks to governor Wilson who DEREGULATED electricity in 1999 which caused the Texas based Enron blackouts in San Francisco

    REPUBLICAN backed prop 11 which passed and BACKFIRED on them, HAHAHA

    California Proposition 11, Creation of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (2008),_Creation_of_the_California_Citizens_Redistricting_Commission_(2008)

    California officials praise Supreme Court ruling on independent redistricting commissions

  13. My Conservative CA Friends do not even realize what a mess other Red States, like Kansas is in. They never hear it mentioned on FOX and never on RightWing Radio.

    “The Unaware are unaware they are unaware”

  14. Yeah but his competition in 2010 was a smart business person, so just imagine how much better off we in the golden state would be had Brown lost to Meg. Ah just yanking your chain. It is kind of weird how all the repugs I know still think California is doing so bad under dem rule. The scary thing is they will probably get a chance in the future to undo the good. Hope it doesn’t happen soon. Go guv moonbeam! Btw the sac Bee is not conservative according to the repugs I know and as a proud liberal/progressive and daily reader of the Bee I have to agree. I’m just saying since that is the alleged newspaper referred to that wrote the editorial.

  15. If every state did it that way, we’d have Dems as far as the eye can see. Republicans would be a sad trombone footnote in the history books. Impotent, yelling and shaking their fists at the TV. That’s MY American dream.

  16. After the complete Arnold Disaster in California, Jerry Brown & fellow Democrats in the House and Senate have really turned things around. All without a revolution I might add.

  17. Problem with those GOPer States is Meth.

    States with most Meth.
    1. Indiana
    2. Tennessee
    3. Missouri
    4. Ohio
    5. Illinois
    6. Michigan
    7. North Carolina
    8. Kentucky
    9. Oklahoma
    10. South Carolina

  18. GOPers do not want to Govern they want to destroy the Government. Mad Max is there Nirvana… along with a stead supply of Crank.

  19. That’s how I always refer to him … Governor Moonbeam. I think he rocks. And yes, I think his dad would be proud.

  20. As a person very closely associated with the Sac Bee, I can assure you that regardless what any Republicans say, and we hear often from “them” that we’re liberal pigs, it is a conservative paper. It’s just that they can hardly lie anymore about the state of the state, or attack Democrats for failing; although the GOP in Sacramento and up and down the Central Valley certainly tries at every opportunity. That the ed board wrote that piece was truly surprising, and sure to lose some advertisers.

  21. Pensions used to be invested in municipal bonds. They funded the government and government workers traded Labor for a living wage and liberal benefits.

    Sustainability economy. Resources stay in the local areas with Civil Service jobs. Government jobs compete with Walmart and put of state contractors, forcing them to raise compensation.

    State government is basically property management. Weeds and seeds. Until the DEA metastasized, law enforcement was local, and public defenders were on tap for everyone.

    Once justice for money and government for profit ate the Red States, we’ve been in a nosedive to Romaniaism. We’re full E. Germany right now.

  22. 42 I don’t live in Ca. But last time I checked, it was 2015 with the election to happen in 2016. A lot of things can happen in 6 years. What happened in 2010 on a vote about legal marijuana could easily be rejected in 2016.

  23. RJJB,
    Not sure what your connection to the Bee is. All I can say is that I have read it pretty much daily for 30 years and while not quite the left wing propaganda piece the repugs think it is, compared to a lot of my other reading material in my opinion it is not a conservative publication. Because of my job I have a lot of inside info on many of their front page articles and in many the articles are left leaning/biased and often do not paint the whole picture. I am just saying, but we all have opinions and while I disagree with yours, I respect it.

  24. Just read several Sac Bee articles, my intro to it. I noticed a conservative bent, esp. compared to widespread liberalism in CA.

    Still, it’s easy to see why Republicans think it’s liberal, eg:

    #1 Non-partisanship reporting.

    #2 No misrepresentations of the truth.

    #3 Lost opportunities to compare Democrat’s policies to the worst excesses of Nazism, communism, terrorism, slavery, and the French Revolution.

    #4 Lack of hate-mongering against people of color, immigrants, undocumented immigrants, the LGBT community, Islam, unions, the poor, President Obama, or Hillary Clinton.

    #5 No articles to “prove” there’s a war on Christianity.

    #6 Absence of Fox “News” references.

    #7 Where are Trump and Carson? Surely they said something stupid today that requires defense by true conservatives.

    NOPE. The GOP would never see conservatism without these modern trappings.

    New title: California News Source Shows Republicans What Good Journalism Looks Like.

  25. While in Bar Harbor on a vacation just two weeks ago some fucking idiot bimbo cashier at a souvenir shop was talking to the customer just ahead of me about how bad it was in California because of the Democrats and I almost went ballistic, explaining to then idiot that California was in better shape than any damn state run by R’s. She shut up real quick. Classic example of people whistling out their ass about something they know nothing about.

  26. But it’s not too late to turn that around. Voter apathy is the reason for the decline in these United States. The dumbing down of America through U.S. mass media in kahoots with unpatriotic billionaires using once respectable news outlets as propaganda machines had caused the downfall of our country.

    But it’s not too late to reverse that disastrous path.

    All we have to do is get people to vote and to ensure they don’t have to jump through a gazillion hoops in order to do so.

    That’s why I support the automatic voter registration enacted in California. You’d be surprised how many Americans don’t even know how to register to vote – especially the younger people. This new law does away with that obstacle.

    We also need to bring basic civics back into our High School curriculum. An educated electorate is a strong electorate.

  27. Everyone blames democrats, but the republicans ruled us for over 30 years.
    Reagan, Deukmejian, Wilson and Arnold

    And you who caused that debt when Davis came in?

    Deukmejian 83-91
    Wilson 91-99

    Thank you for these articles!!!

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